Paul, Weiss is committed to providing impactful pro bono legal assistance to individuals and organizations in need across a broad range of constitutional, civil rights and other public interest matters.
For decades, Paul, Weiss has been at the forefront of legal efforts to promote civil rights and equal justice.
Assisting Thurgood Marshall in the seminal U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, the firm’s lawyers were instrumental in the effort to end racial segregation. Today, we are a leader in nationwide efforts to secure equal rights for the LGBTQ community, advance racial justice, challenge restrictive voting laws, and protect the rights of prisoners and Americans with disabilities.
Below are some highlights:
We have been involved in several of the most consequential cases in recent years involving LGBTQ rights. Below are some highlights:
- Representing Edith Windsor, we won a landmark Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Windsor, which led to the recognition of the constitutional right of same-sex couples to be married.
- In 2015, as a result of our first lawsuit in Mississippi, a federal court ordered clerks across the state to begin issuing marriage licenses to LGBTQ couples. We successfully challenged Mississippi’s ban on adoption by lesbian and gay couples, the last of its kind in the nation, and are challenging a new Mississippi law, HB 1523, that authorizes discrimination against LGBTQ people based on “religious beliefs.”
- On the local level, we serve the legal needs of the transgender community in cooperation with the Transgender Legal Defense’s Name Change Project. Our lawyers, in partnership with Bloomberg L.P., have represented dozens of transgender individuals in connection with their name change petitions.
We have been involved in several high-impact efforts to promote racial justice.
For example, we partnered with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and The Legal Aid Society in a successful lawsuit against New York City and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). The suit, Davis, et al. v. City of New York, filed on behalf of more than 400,000 NYCHA residents and invited guests, challenged the New York City Police Department’s racially discriminatory policy and practice of routinely stopping and arresting NYCHA residents and guests without reasonable suspicion or probable cause. Following two major rulings in our clients’ favor, we helped negotiate a settlement that significantly revises police practice and NYCHA house rules.
Additionally, following shootings by and of police officers that exacerbated relations between law enforcement and communities of color, we were tapped to lead the ABA’s Task Force on Building Public Trust in the American Justice System. We released a report in 2017 outlining best practices for community policing and building consensus for needed reforms.
We handle high-impact disability rights cases, including, most notably, an ongoing, decade-long litigation with the state of New York on behalf of thousands of mentally disabled adults confined in segregated, unsuitable and often abusive “adult homes” — state-licensed for-profit residential care facilities. U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis has noted Paul, Weiss’s “outstanding and comprehensive advocacy.”
Events & Publications
- Nov 21, 2018
The New York Times highlighted Paul, Weiss’s leadership in a court-ordered effort to find parents deported by the Trump Administration and to reunify families in an article on law firms’ intensive pro bono immigration efforts.
- Oct 26, 2018
Firm Chairman Brad Karp and Litigation Department Co-Chair Robert Atkins published an op-ed in the New York Law Journal, “Democracy Itself is On the Ballot,” that sounds the alarm on threats to the integrity of our election process.
- Sep 21, 2018
Pro bono associate BJ Jensen was featured in the September issue of the McGill News Alumni Magazine.
Emily Goldberg and Steve Herzog Featured in NYU Law News Article on Immigrant Family Separation Crisis
- Aug 14, 2018
Emily Goldberg and Steve Herzog Featured in NYU Law News Article on Immigrant Family Separation Crisis
Pro bono counsel Emily Goldberg and litigation counsel Steve Herzog were featured in an article focusing on NYU alumni at the firm who are on the front lines of the battles over U.S. immigration policy.
- Jun 27, 2018
Firm chairman Brad Karp and litigation department co-chair Bob Atkins were quoted in The American Lawyer in an article highlighting legal industry-wide efforts to coordinate efforts since President Trump’s travel ban executive order…
- Jun 27, 2018
Paul, Weiss’s efforts on behalf of three undocumented immigrant parents separated from their children at the border were highlighted in a June 27 article in Law360.
- Jun 25, 2018
Firm chairman Brad Karp, alongside Gary Wingens, chairman and managing partner of Lowenstein Sandler, co-authored an Op-Ed for The New York Times on the current immigration crisis at the border with Mexico.
- Nov 02, 2017
Litigation partner Geoffrey Chepiga and pro bono counsel Emily Goldberg will participate in a panel discussion hosted by the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and the Human Services Council.
- Aug 27, 2017
Sunday’s New York Post featured a story on the “potentially precedent-setting case” that Paul, Weiss and The Legal Aid Society are litigating on behalf of dozens of formerly homeless individuals who obtained private apartments through …
- Oct 31, 2016
Firm chair Brad Karp was profiled as one of "New York City's Leaders" in the fall 2016 edition of Leaders magazine.
- Oct 03, 2016
An article posted to The Daily Beast on October 3, titled "Doctors Said They Shook Their Baby to Death. They Didn't," recounts the story of a young black couple in the Bronx wrongfully accused of murdering their infant…
- Dec 22, 2015
The Huffington Post published an account by 15-year-old Hudson Garner of the preliminary injunction hearing held in the Southern District of Mississippi on November 6th in which Paul, Weiss sought to enjoin Mississippi from enforcing…
- May 11, 2015
This video examines how Paul, Weiss and its client, the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), provide comprehensive legal representation to individual refugees seeking resettlement.
- Feb 26, 2015
Litigation partners Martin Flumenbaum and Andrew Gordon and associate Geoffrey Chepiga are featured in a video produced by the New York Lawyers for Public Interest (NYLPI), titled "Stories of Justice: NYLPI's…
- Dec 12, 2014
This video examines how Paul, Weiss and its client, Disability Advocates Inc. (now known as Disability Rights New York), helped adults with mental disabilities build new lives by securing a landmark settlement with the state of…
- Jun 18, 2014
On July 1, 2014, certain substantial changes to New York nonprofit law will take effect, and will require compliance by all nonprofit organizations incorporated in New York, as well as certain nonprofit organizations doing…
- Jan 02, 2014
Litigation partner Aidan Synnott was quoted in an article titled "Rethinking the Law Firm/Law School Relationship," which discusses Paul, Weiss client Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project and mentions the firm's involvement …
- Nov 21, 2013
Corporate associate Frank Steinherr and Rolando Gonzalez of The Legal Aid Society's Civil Practice Program co-chaired a CLE pro bono program titled "Advising Micro-Entrepreneurs."
Awards & Recognition
- Jun 12, 2019
Pro bono counsel Emily Goldberg was featured in a recent Q&A in the New Jersey Law Journal as one of five honorees recognized as “Unsung Heroes” in the state.
- May 21, 2019
Firm chairman Brad Karp and real estate partner Meredith Kane were recognized as “New York Trailblazers” in the New York Law Journal’s inaugural list, which celebrates professionals who have made significant marks on the practice,…
- May 20, 2019
Litigation counsel Karen King will receive this year’s Thurgood Marshall Award for Exceptional Pro Bono Service, awarded by the Federal Bar Council in recognition and celebration of lawyers in private practice who have demonstrated an …
- May 20, 2019
Litigation partner Roberto Finzi has been selected to receive the Equalizer Award at the Gideon’s Promise event, “A Night to Celebrate.”
- May 07, 2019
Corporate partner Carl Reisner was honored at the International Refugee Assistance Project’s (IRAP) special evening, “IRAP Tonight with John Oliver,” which celebrated the vast network of students, lawyers, and others who help…
- May 02, 2019
On May 2, Paul, Weiss was honored by the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) for its pro bono contributions and commitment to protecting the rights of women and children seeking safety in the United States.
- May 06, 2019
The ACLU of New Jersey awarded Paul, Weiss a Legal Leadership Award for the firm’s key role in one of the most influential immigrants’ rights cases during the Trump Administration.
- May 03, 2019
Paul, Weiss has been included in The National Law Journal’s 2019 Pro Bono Hot List for its involvement in some of the most significant public interest matters of the past year.
- Apr 16, 2019
Forty-eight attorneys from the D.C. office have been recognized for their pro bono work in 2018.
- Jan 28, 2019
The New York City Bar Association and CUNY Law announced that the Court Square Law Project, a pilot program founded by the City Bar and CUNY in 2016 with support from Paul, Weiss and 18 other leading New York law firms, has been named …
- Dec 12, 2018
Paul, Weiss and firm chairman Brad Karp are recognized in the Financial Times’ 2018 “North America Innovative Lawyers” report.
- Dec 01, 2018
Litigation associate Jessica Morton is a co-recipient of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia’s Young Lawyers Section “Young Lawyer of the Year” Award.
- Nov 14, 2018
Paul, Weiss was awarded Make the Road New York’s “With the Community” award at its annual Dignity, Community, and Power Awards.
- Nov 16, 2018
Sanctuary for Families honored a team of attorneys from Paul, Weiss and O’Melveny & Myers at the Above & Beyond Achievement Awards and Benefit.
- Oct 26, 2018
Counsel Karen King received the Distinguished Advocate for Justice Award at the annual gala of the Organization of Chinese Americas.
- Oct 10, 2018
Firm chair Brad Karp was named the 2018 New York Law Journal “Attorney of the Year.”
- Oct 02, 2018
A Paul, Weiss pro bono team was honored at the 2018 Above & Beyond Pro Bono Achievement Awards and Benefit, hosted by SanctuaryA Paul, Weiss pro bono team was honored at the 2018 Above & Beyond Pro Bono Achievement Awards and…
- Jul 25, 2018
The American Lawyer has placed Paul, Weiss fifth in its annual “A-List,” which ranks firms based on their revenue per lawyer, pro bono commitment, associate satisfaction, racial and gender diversity, and the percentage of female…
- May 24, 2018
Paul, Weiss was one of three firms honored at the annual Safe Haven Awards hosted by Immigration Equality at Lincoln Center.
- Apr 20, 2018
Her Justice will honor bankruptcy partner Kelley Cornish at its 25th anniversary photography auction and benefit at the Grand Hyatt Ballroom on May 3.
- Oct 25, 2017
The Legal Aid Society recognized several Paul, Weiss attorneys and the firm as a whole at the 2017 Pro Bono Publico Awards for their pro bono contributions over the past year.
- Aug 02, 2017
The American Lawyer has ranked Paul, Weiss third in its annual “A-List,” which ranks firms based on their revenue per lawyer, pro bono commitment, associate satisfaction, racial and gender diversity, and the percentage of female…
- Jun 27, 2017
The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence honored Paul, Weiss on June 27 with its Richard W. Odgers Pro Bono Partner Award.
- Jun 08, 2017
Paul, Weiss pro bono client Providence House honored the firm with its “Corporate Good Neighbor” award at its annual People of Hope Celebration.
- Apr 12, 2017
Paul, Weiss pro bono client the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) won a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting on April 10 for the Panama Papers probe.
- Apr 04, 2017
The Legal Action Center Board of Directors unanimously elected Paul, Weiss chair Brad Karp as its third chairman in the organization's 45-year history.
- Nov 17, 2016
Litigation partner Daniel Kramer was honored by the Anti-Defamation League with its Human Relations Award.
- Nov 15, 2016
Paul, Weiss was honored with the inaugural Legal Advocate Award at the Brady Bear Awards gala in New York City.
- Oct 19, 2016
Paul, Weiss was recognized for its pro bono asylum work on behalf of refugees at Human Rights First's 2016 Award Dinner with the Marvin Frankel Award.
- Oct 05, 2016
The Legal Aid Society (LAS) is honoring Paul, Weiss with its 2016 Pro Bono Publico Awards for outstanding service to the organization and its clients.
- Sep 29, 2016
Real estate associate Julia Milne has been selected to receive the City Bar Justice Center's Jeremy G. Epstein Award for Pro Bono Service.
- May 10, 2016
The National Institute for Reproductive Health recognized Paul, Weiss as a "Champion of Choice."
- Sep 16, 2015
Paul, Weiss was recognized atDC Appleseed's 2015 Awards Reception for its pro bono work on the "Ending AIDS in D.C." project.
- Aug 30, 2015
Paul, Weiss was recognized among Law360's 2015 Pro Bono All Stars. The award is presented to firms that have demonstrated a very strong commitment to pro bono work and dedicated substantial resources to high-impact cases crucial…
- Jun 10, 2015
Paul, Weiss was recognized at MFY Legal Services's annual gala dinner benefit for our long-term commitment to working with MFY to secure justice for adult home residents. Litigation partners Andrew Gordon and Jacqueline Rubin…
- May 08, 2015
Maria Vullo was given the 2015 Humanitarian Award by the Interfaith Nutrition Network (INN). The INN operates a network of soup kitchens on Long Island and provides emergency housing and social services. Maria was honored…
- May 04, 2015
Litigation partner Maria Vullo was honored by A Better Balance: The Work and Family Legal Center with its Distinguished Corporate Citizen Award. Maria was recognized for her career-long pro bono work in support of women and…
- Apr 24, 2015
Attorneys and paralegals from Paul, Weiss's Washington, D.C. office coached a team of students from Anacostia High School in the 43rd Annual D.C. Street Law Mock Trial Competition. The competition included 32 teams from 14 D.C.…
- Mar 30, 2015
The Paul, Weiss Washington, D.C. office was recognized at a breakfast organized by the D.C. Circuit Judicial Conference's Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services for having 40 percent or more of our lawyers dedicate at…